The Pirate Island
A very exciting story. It starts with a severe gale on the Essex coast of England. A rescue is effected, as a result of which one of the local fishermen generously adopts an orphan boy they find on the sinking ship.
Years later a number of young people set out on a return voyage by sea to Australia. On the return voyage there is a disastrous fire on board their ship, the Galatea, as a result of which they and the crew take to the boats.
They are rescued by a vessel that turns out to be a pirate ship, the captain of which takes them to his island, where he has a number of ships of various kinds that he has captured. Discovering that one of his prisoners has designed and built his own fast-sailing yacht, the pirate commands the people to build him a new fast ship, which they set about doing, and succeed in doing so.
Just as the ship is completed two of the party find, in a well-written episode, that there is a major reef of gold on the island. However they press on with plans to escape, which involves making off with the new fast ship they have just completed.
Just as they are departing there is an earthquake, leading to a volcanic eruption in the island. This results in the death of their pursuers.
Putting two and two together it is realised that one of the people in this story, who had originally been the boy adopted at the very start of the book, is the lost child of the uncle of another of the passengers. The uncle has been miserable ever since the loss of his wife and child, though he did not know from what ship, and where, they had been lost. There is a perfectly good reason for this. Needless to say, it all ends happily, with various marriages, and with the intention of getting back to the Pirate Island, to see if it has survived the eruption, and if so, if the gold can be mined.
It makes a very good audiobook, that is very gripping, especially at the point where the original discovery of the gold is made.
Harry Collingwood (1851-1922). Pseudonym of William Joseph Cosens Lancaster, a civil engineer who specialised in seas and harbours.
A PDF of scans and an HTML version of this book are provided. We also provide a plain TEXT version and full instructions for using this to make your own audiobook. To find these click on the PDF, HTML or TXT links on the left.
These transcriptions of books by various nineteenth century authors of instructive books for teenagers, were made during the period 1997 to the present day by Athelstane e-Books. Most of the books are concerned with the sea, but in any case all will give a good idea of life in the nineteenth century. This of course includes attitudes prevalent at the time, but frowned upon nowadays.
We used a Hewlett-Packard scanner, a Plustek OpticBook 3600 scanner or a Nikkon Coolpix 5700 camera to scan the pages. We then made a pdf which we used to assist with editing the OCRed text.
To make a text version we used TextBridge Pro 98 or ABBYY Finereader 7 or 8 to produce a first draft of the text, and Athelstane software to find misreads and improve the text. We proof-read the chapters, and then made a CD with the book read aloud by either Fonix ISpeak or TextAloud MP3. The last step enables us to hear and correct most of the errors that may have been missed by the other steps, as well as entertaining us during the work of transcription.
The resulting text can be read at www.athelstane.co.uk
The PDF version is constructed from 300 dpi scans. To get best value set "Use Logical Page Numbers" to "ON" in Edit/Preferences/Page Display of your PDF viewer. To obtain the HTML file find the area on the left of this page which has PDF, HTML and TXT in it, and click on HTML. In this version the entire book appears in the one file, which also includes the style-sheet and any pictures, and is written in xhtml. The larger of the two TXT files is what you need to create an audiobook, using for instance Text Aloud MP3. The smaller of the two TXT files contains full instructions for doing so.
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